07 September, 2019
4 Min Read
|GS-I||Indus Valley settlers had a distinct genetic lineage.|
|GS-II||Sea route from Chennai to Vladivostok||International Relations|
|GS-III||Prepare plan for protection of Great Indian bustard|
|GS-IV||It’s time officers renewed their commitment to the nation, not the government of the day||Miscellaneous|
GS-I: Indus Valley settlers had a distinct genetic lineage
Throwing fresh light on the Indus Valley Civilisation, a study of DNA from Skeletal remains excavated from the Harappan cemetery at Rakhigarhi.
The history of India begins with the birth of the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC), also known as Harappan Civilization.
It flourished around 2,500 BC, in the western part of South Asia, in contemporary Pakistan and Western India.
The Indus Valley was home to the largest of the four ancient urban civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China.
In 1920s, the Archaeological Department of India carried out excavations in the Indus valley wherein the ruins of the two old cities, viz. Mohenjodaro and Harappa were unearthed.
In 1924, John Marshall, Director-General of the ASI, announced the discovery of a new civilisation in the Indus valley to the world.
Town Planning and Structures
The Harappan culture was distinguished by its system of town planning.
Harappa and Mohenjodaro each had its own citadel or acropolis, which was possibly occupied by members of the ruling class.
Below the citadel in each city lay a lower town containing brick houses, which were inhabited by the common people.
The remarkable thing about the arrangement of the houses in the cities is that they followed the grid system.
Granaries constituted an important part of the Harappan cities.
The use of burnt bricks in the Harappan cities is remarkable, because in the contemporary buildings of Egypt mainly dried bricks were used.
The drainage system of Mohenjodaro was very impressive.
In almost all cities every big or small house had its own courtyard and bathroom.
Origins of farming
In Europe,ancient-DNA studoes have shown that agriculture tended to spread through an influx of people with ancestary in Anatolia. New study shows a similar dynamic in Iran and Turan where the researchers found that Anatolian-related ancestary and farming arrived around the same time.
Researchers had successfully sequenced the first genome of an individual from Harappa and combining it with archaeological data, found that hunter-gatherers of South Asia had an independent origin, and authored the settled way of life in this part of the world.
They do not contain genome from either the Steppe region or ancient Iranian farmers.
The genetic continuity from hunter gatherer to modern times is visible in the DNA results.”
The same hunter gatherer communities developed into agricultural communities and formed the Harappan civilization.
The researchers also suggest that there was a movement of people from east to west as the Harapan People’s presense is evident at sites like Gonur in Turkmenistan and Sahr-i-Sokhta in Iran.
GS-II: Sea route from Chennai to Vladivostok
During PM’s visit to Vladivostok this week, a MoI was signed to open a full-fledged maritime route between Russia’s eastern port city and Chennai on India’s eastern seaboard.
In Russian, Vladivostok is ‘Ruler of the East’.
Located on the Golden Horn Bay north of North Korea and a short distance from Russia’s border with China, it is the largest port on Russia’s Pacific coast, and home to the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy.
It is the eastern railhead of the legendary Trans Siberian Railway, which connects the far east of Russia to the capital Moscow, and further west to the countries of Europe.
At Vladivostok’s massive port, shipping and commercial fishing are the main commercial activities.
Automobiles are a major item of import at the port, from where they are often transported further inland.
To Chennai by sea:
An ocean liner travelling from Vladivostok to Chennai would sail southward on the Sea of Japan past the Korean peninsula, Taiwan and the Philippines in the South China Sea, past Singapore and through the Strait of Malacca.
It will emerge into the Bay of Bengal and then cut across through the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago to Chennai.
Time and distance
This sea route covers a distance of approximately 5,600 nautical miles, or about 10,300 km.
A large container ship travelling at the normal cruising speed of 20-25 knots, or 37-46 km/hour, should be able to cover the distance in 10-12 days.
At suboptimal “slow steaming” speeds of 18-20 knots (33-37 km/hour), at which long-distance vessels sometimes travel to in order to save fuel, it might take slightly longer — 12-13 days.
Trade and strategy
India is building nuclear power plants with Russia’s collaboration in Kudankulam on the sea coast in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district.
The opening of a sea route is likely to help in the project.
Even otherwise, a vibrant sea route will help in the upscaling of trade relations between the two nations.
It will also increase India’s presence in the Indo-Pacific, and especially the South China Sea, a deeply contested patch of the ocean that Beijing considers its stomping ground.
Significance of the route
Opening of this route between Chennai and Vladivostok assumes significance because it ensures there will be connectivity between the two major ports.
It will give impetus to the cooperation between India and the Russian Far East.
GS-III: Prepare plan for protection of Great Indian bustard
Noting the high mortality rate of the Great Indian Bustard.the NGT has directed the centre to prepare a time bound action plan within two months for protection of the birds.
Great Indian Bustard
Birdlife International uplisted this species from Endangered to Critically Endangered (2011)
Protection under CITES Appendix I
Protection under Schedule I Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act 2002
Project Great Indian Bustard (Rajasthan): aims at identifying and fencing off bustard breeding grounds in existing protected areas as well as provide secure breeding enclosures in areas outside protected areas.
GS-IV: It’s time officers renewed their commitment to the nation, not the government of the day
We often hear questions on the integrity of civil services, organisations such as the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI and the intentions of taxmen when they do some tasks as part of their job.
There is a belief that the country’s “rusted steel frame” poses a challenge. But not many concrete measures to offer that can strengthen and refurbish it.
Civil services training
Role models who fought alone
These actions are known only to a few.
There are awards for innovation and achieving targets, but none for awarding an officer for standing by the principles she is supposed to be true to.
Case studies have been developed for performance, but none exist for those who abide by their commitment to a just and equitable society and dare to differ with “orders from the top”.
Civil Services for the common man
What civil servants have to do
Justice Khanna – a case study
We need the likes of Justice Khanna to motivate the civil services to take a principled stand.
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